Automotive

2017 Volvo XC90 to have Pilot Assist II semi-autonomous driving as standard

2017 Volvo XC90 to have Pilot ...
Pilot Assist II adds steering assistance to adaptive cruise control, creating a semi-autonomous highway driving system that controls acceleration, braking, and steering to follow traffic flow within the lane on well-marked highways
Pilot Assist II adds steering assistance to adaptive cruise control, creating a semi-autonomous highway driving system that controls acceleration, braking, and steering to follow traffic flow within the lane on well-marked highways
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Pilot Assist II adds steering assistance to adaptive cruise control, creating a semi-autonomous highway driving system that controls acceleration, braking, and steering to follow traffic flow within the lane on well-marked highways
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Pilot Assist II adds steering assistance to adaptive cruise control, creating a semi-autonomous highway driving system that controls acceleration, braking, and steering to follow traffic flow within the lane on well-marked highways
The driver can override the Pilot Assist II system anytime, of course
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The driver can override the Pilot Assist II system anytime, of course
Other new additions to the XC90 for model year 2017 include PowerPulse for the diesel variant
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Other new additions to the XC90 for model year 2017 include PowerPulse for the diesel variant
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Volvo's updates to the already new XC90 in 2017 will include its latest step towards autonomous driving – Pilot Assist II. This will be standard equipment on the SUV in selected markets and will be mirrored on the S90 sedan.

Pilot Assist II adds steering assistance to adaptive cruise control, creating a semi-autonomous highway driving system that – like Tesla's Autopilot system – controls acceleration, braking, and steering to follow traffic flow within the lane on well-marked highways. The system can operate at speeds up to 81 mph (120 km/h) and does not require a lead car as have other Volvo systems in development.

The driver can override the Pilot Assist II system anytime, of course
The driver can override the Pilot Assist II system anytime, of course

The driver can override the system anytime, of course, by simply deactivating cruise control (with the brake or cancel/off button) or by accelerating or turning the steering wheel. Letting go of the steering wheel for a few seconds also deactivates the system. To change lanes, however, using the turn signal and wheel to make the lane change does not override Pilot Assist II.

Other new additions to the XC90 for model year 2017 include PowerPulse for the diesel variant. This is designed to eliminate the turbo drag found in most diesel engines by adding an electric compressor and pressurized two-liter air tank to the powertrain. Fresh air coming into the vehicle via its air filter is compressed and stored in the tank. When the throttle is pressed for fast acceleration, the compressed air is released into the exhaust manifold to quickly spool the turbo for immediate boosting.

Other new additions to the XC90 for model year 2017 include PowerPulse for the diesel variant
Other new additions to the XC90 for model year 2017 include PowerPulse for the diesel variant

Also added is a new update for Volvo's City Safety. This standard collision avoidance system, which includes pedestrian and small vehicle (bicycle) avoidance, is now updated to include large animals.

Every update being made to the 2017 XC90 will also appear in the S90 sedan and V90 wagon.

Source: Volvo

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2 comments
Mel Tisdale
"... to follow traffic flow within the lane on well-marked highways." So, what happens when the driver is busy reading 50 Shades of Grey, or something like it, and does not notice that they have moved onto a new stretch of road yet to be marked with any degree of competence, including 'well'? And what about speed limits? "Sorry, Your Honour, I was distracted by a particularly steamy bit" will probably not save your driving licence, unless His Honour has reached a particularly steamy bit himself, of course!
I really don't think that we are ready for this. First, we need a system where the vehicle operates precisely to an official road map that contains all the information necessary for safe progress to be maintained at all times. In the pages of this magazine are adverts for MEMS inertial navigation systems which can be tied to the GPS receiver for operation in tunnels, heavily forested or high-rise areas and obviously when the signal is jammed.
Get the map developed for use by all sat-nav, semi-autonomous and fully autonomous systems. Then arrange for it to be updated in real-time to reflect changing circumstances and traffic densities to enable the traffic load to be better distributed and traffic accidents avoided plus any other problems, such as marches, parades and the like also planned for.
Even then, there would still be fundamental problems with this system. For semi-autonomous systems, the driver must at all times be responsible for steering the vehicle. For it not to be the case will require them to suddenly appraise developing accident situations and take whatever avoidance is necessary. That is a very big ask and one almost certainly impossible to deliver. In addition, the system should not be based on adaptive cruise control, but its opposite number where the set maximum (i.e. not the minimum speed) is maintained.
The only time the vehicle system should take control of the steering is when the driver is suddenly incapacitated and that state has been detected (such as by the vehicle continuing to drift off course despite the system having issued a warning to correct matters. With proper development of these systems it should be possible to inform wirelessly the fact that the vehicle is not under driver control and keep all nearby traffic away from harm. Considering that the driver might in severe pain and simply grab the steering wheel, and all that that implies, in the circumstances of driver incapacitation, the vehicle, and only the vehicle, should be responsible for steering, which it would do by taking it to the hard shoulder or equivalent and await the police and the ambulance.
A gentleman in the U.K. set electric bikes back by a decade by rushing into production with an electric trike that was a rolling death sentence. We don't want all the good things about semi-autonomous cars to be lost by rushing into production before the foundations are properly laid for their introduction. If there were any good things to be said about fully autonomous vehicles, I would include them here, but I cannot think of any.
Rigby5
A horrendously stupid idea. Every single accident will be blamed on the autonomous system malfunctioning. The data stored will be no defense for Volvo because it will be dismissed as faulty. There is no way any court would ever allow automated data be presented as evidence in court. It is not like you can swear in the programmer and have him testify as to the reliability of the data. Volvo will go broke paying out huge settlements whenever there is an accident even remotely involving an autonomous Volvo. And there will be lots of accidents, as no automated vision system will work in rain, snow, where there are not stripes, construction, parking lots, etc.